Updated: 11am PST on April 11, 2018 // Official Statement from The Queenstown Mountain Bike Club and Queenstown Lakes District Council
The Queenstown Mountain Bike Club (QMTBC) and Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) would like to clarify some well-intentioned, but inaccurate information that has been circulating over the past week regarding the Gorge Road Jump Park.
The jump park is situated close to town on land that has been identified as important to Queenstown’s growing infrastructure requirements, which needs to expand as the town continues to experience increasing and sustained population growth.
QLDC owns the land that the Gorge Road Jump Park is situated on, and QTMBC has previously held a Licence to Occupy (LTO) the site. This has recently expired and was a five year LTO which had been renewed on the back of a previous five-year licence. The recently expired LTO does not have a right of renewal.
QLDC and the QTMBC have been in discussion around the future of the jump park for the past year, working together towards a mutually agreeable solution. To assist with this process, QLDC has offered financial assistance to help identify a new site for the jump park.
Until the exact nature of the future of the Gorge Road site has been determined, QLDC has also agreed to provide QTMBC yearly renewals of their LTO. The first of these renewals will expire at the end of April 2019 and if the site has yet to be repurposed by this time, an additional year may be granted.
Both QMTBC and QLDC are committed to ensuring that the jump park continues to provide a world experience for its users.
QMTBC has been aware of this licence expiry for some time and has been working with riders to gain an understanding of the best solutions and options for an alternative site. They are confident they will find an equal or better site, and will lobby QLDC to continue to support the jump park.
QMTBC has no desire to let the legend of Gorge Road die, and while this may be on another site in the future, they are working with QLDC to ensure this rich history lives on.
Both organisations appreciate that this is an issue the local, national and international biking community are passionate about, and they look forward to being able to announce further details as they become available.
In an email that accompanied the official statement, Adam Carlson, President of the QMTBC, added that:
Petition organizer Lowell Smyth updated his statement as well:
Gorge is more than a set of jumps. It is a work of art, a labor of love, a training ground for some of the world’s best athletes, and a place for young and beginning riders to discover and progress in a new sport. More than anything, it is a home that brings together people from all over the world. Its value to the bike community, and to the character of Queenstown, cannot be overstated. Help us save the best jumps in the world!From April 10, 2018:
The Gorge Road Jump Park was created more than a decade ago and has been maintained by a dedicated crew of Queenstown, New Zealand locals ever since. You may know the massive park from Brandon Semenuk, Brett Rheeder and Cam McCaul's section in NotBad
. It's a favourite training spot for athletes from around the world.
After hearing the future of the jumps was in jeopardy, Lowell Smyth started this petition on Friday, April 6: "QLDC: Save gorge road jump park"
More than 10,000 people have signed, the petition, but there is more to the story. "Long-term the park will move," said Adam Carlson, President of the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club. "But land and resources will be available for a new location."
Who owns the land that the Gorge Road Jumps are on? Adam Carlson:
Queenstown Lakes District Council
How has the park been able to exist for so long? Adam Carlson:
The great work done by the club in maintaining a good relationship with the council and the great work done by vollies and paid contractors to keep it a community asset.
What are your thoughts on the petition?Adam Carlson:
The petition has helped to inform the landowner of the passion of the riders and the worldwide value of the asset.
What are the chances that the park will be relocated? Adam Carlson:
Chances are pretty damn good, the council and the club are doing everything they can!
How is the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club working with Queenstown Lakes District Council? Adam Carlson:
We work with the council on many issues, events, trails, weed control, and all bike related issues. The club has a longstanding relationship with the council and we meet with them regularly to discuss these matters.
Pete Hansby, QLDC General Manager of property and Infrastructure met with QTMBC today to discuss the future of the park.